This week’s theme is Italian horror movie soundtracks from the 1970s and 1980s.
I’ve had a special place in my heart for Italian horror from the moment I saw the eye-splinter scene in Lucio Fulci’s Zombie (aka Zombi 2… I explain that confusing bit in the show). I even have fond memories of crapfests like Hell of the Living Deadand City of the Walking Dead, having seen them a half-dozen times each, even though they’re terrible. Like spaghetti westerns preceding them, Italian splatter films took a popular American formula and gave it a special slant. Generally, Italian horror from this time period was derivative in terms of plot but much more advanced and risk-taking in terms of gory special effects, music, and cinematography. Likewise, Italian giallos were like amped up American mystery films.
The music that backed these fine films of frequenly questionable taste was of most varied style. Progressive rock band Goblin had the atmospheric, spooky sound down while Fabio Frizzi could jump from funk to upbeat, synth-heavy island rhythms at the drop of a dime. Ennio Morricone, perhaps the world’s most respected soundtrack composer, made the transition well from spaghetti westerns to Italian horror with his sweeping, cinematic sound.
This week’s episode features a nice introductory taste of this surprisingly deep genre. Most of the films featured were directed by Lucio Fulci, but Dario Argento and Jorge Grau’s are featured as well.